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Diverse, equitable and inclusive communities will pave the path to true national reconciliation




Posted: 17 December 2021

As the level of government closest to communities, Reconciliation Day provides a sobering opportunity for South African municipalities to take stock of the progress made towards addressing the reconciliation question from a spatial, economic, and social dimension.

During apartheid, local government was pivotal in ensuring the implementation of the legal and policy framework of racial segregation, which separated communities along the lines of race.

This was not just a spatial divide, but a significant disparity in resources, development, and infrastructure. It was not just preconceived ideas about race, but explicit government actions that kept a nation divided.

President Cyril Ramaphosa couldn't have said it better when he ¬delivered the keynote address at the 2018 National Members Assembly (NMA) of the South African ¬Local Government Association (SALGA) at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal.

“We sought to establish cohesive, viable municipalities that would bridge the divide between privilege and deprivation; municipalities that would contribute to the creation of the united South Africa that we seek.”

President Ramaphosa underscored the importance of municipalities in being the agents of development and transformation and this was among the immediate tasks set before for local government at the advent of democracy.

Reconfiguring South African metros, cities, towns, and rural areas from the backbone of their apartheid blueprint into inclusive and sustainable places where people of all races and ethnicities can live, work, and raise their families.

The role of a modern local government system with clear developmental objectives therefore extends beyond the delivery of basic services. It also plays a crucial role in working closely together with other spheres of government to change the social and economic landscape of South Africa.

Local government is therefore, among others, a key role player in the promotion of national unity, social cohesion and reconciliation, Constitutional democracy, human rights and equality, and it is against this background that SALGA, as the national voice of local government in South Africa, celebrates Reconciliation Day today under the theme: The year of Charlotte Maxeke: Promoting Reconciliation During the 25th Anniversary of the Constitution”.

Together with other spheres of government, non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies and civil society, South African municipalities will continue to build diverse, equitable and more inclusive communities that will pave the path to true national reconciliation.

Follow hashtag:
#20YearsofDemocraticLocalGovernment, #25YearsofSalga, #InspiringServiceDelivery and look out for more activities planned for the 20 Years of Democratic Local Government on the SALGA website: and all our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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